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The beautiful birds of Puttaparthi - 2

Updated on July 31, 2012

Nature never ceases to amaze. And ‘naturally’ so for it is a limb of the Lord. As Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba put it, “Man is a part of the society. Society is a part of nature. Nature is a limb of the Lord. So love all, serve all. “ This limb of the Lord reflects the beauty of God. Little wonder that it has been said, “Creation is Divine.” Being human, all we can do is to try to imitate and recapture that glory. And that is exactly the attempt here. After having met twenty feathered friends in a hub that won the HubPages Patron of Arts Contest, it is an opportunity to meet a few more beauties. Just to recap very quickly, Puttaparthi has its fair share of birds, thanks to the river Chitravati that flows through it and a host of lakes that have water for almost 9-10 months of every year.

The Tricolored Munia looks dainty and beautiful as it skilfully perches on thin reeds, looking out for  seeds among the grasses and reeds. (Chitravati river bed reeds)
The Tricolored Munia looks dainty and beautiful as it skilfully perches on thin reeds, looking out for seeds among the grasses and reeds. (Chitravati river bed reeds) | Source

The little ones always occupy the front rows! The Tricoloured Munia is so beautiful because of its distinctly separated colours. The Munias are also called as Finches. They stay in groups of five or six, hopping about the grass or fluttering in the reeds, always feeding. Another little bird that is seen very easily in the gardens and among the many flowering plants of Puttaparthi is the Sunbird. There are more than six varieties at least but all the females look alike with a yellow belly and brownish back.

The female Sunbird enjoys a sunbath after the early morning dew gave it a water bath! (the lower reaches of the Chitravati river)
The female Sunbird enjoys a sunbath after the early morning dew gave it a water bath! (the lower reaches of the Chitravati river) | Source

Another little bird (compared to other birds of its nature) is the Black Shouldered Kite. This predator plays a waiting game before putting in a burst of terrific energy to grab its meal of the day! And when it turns to look at you, you get a feeling of being watched over by a powerful Red-Indian Spirit. Its an amazing sensation.

Who could have conceived the unique colour combination of the Black Shouldered Kite?(on electricity wire near Sahebcheruvu)
Who could have conceived the unique colour combination of the Black Shouldered Kite?(on electricity wire near Sahebcheruvu) | Source

Another bird in black is the Asian Koel which belongs to the Cuckoo species. Infamous as a parasite that lays eggs only in the crow’s and other bird’s nests, the Koel is the most vocal bird of the lot. You will hear it more than you see it. The male has a sweet cooing call while th female chooses to use hurried and high pitched coos.

The female Koel feeding on berries chooses only to be heard rather seen. This was a surprise encounter. (Berry tree along the Chitravati river banks)
The female Koel feeding on berries chooses only to be heard rather seen. This was a surprise encounter. (Berry tree along the Chitravati river banks) | Source

The female of the Pied Bushchat is a real cutie! She has a little chirp and as she sits on her perch, you cannot help but fall in love with her. She looks so cherubic and cute.

The Pied Bushchat female calls out softly from her perch in the meadows. (Meadows beyond the river Chitravati)
The Pied Bushchat female calls out softly from her perch in the meadows. (Meadows beyond the river Chitravati) | Source

Well, talking of females, there is often a misconception that just as the female is more beautiful in the humans, the male is more beautiful among the animals and birds. I cannot say that I subscribe to this view completely. The male Red Munia had made his appearance in the previous post. The female Red Munia is equally exquisite if not more! She looks like she has draped herself in traditional Kanjeevaram silk saree!

With her large eyes, the female Red Munia looks like an inspiration for many fashion show models on how beauty could be displayed even when completely draped!(reeds along Chitravati river)
With her large eyes, the female Red Munia looks like an inspiration for many fashion show models on how beauty could be displayed even when completely draped!(reeds along Chitravati river) | Source

As the seasons change and the summer begins to set in, the river starts drying up. There is very little flowing water but a large number of small and shallow pools and puddles. The Greater Painted Snipe is a master of camouflage. There will be at least half a dozen along the shores, feeding in pairs and still it becomes hard to notice one. And when you see one, keep your eyes trained on it. One moment of concentration lapse, and its again lost from sight!

The Greater Painted Snipes are great blenders and their body colour is almost the same as the terrain colours. (Chitravati river)
The Greater Painted Snipes are great blenders and their body colour is almost the same as the terrain colours. (Chitravati river) | Source

Another bird that has been blessed with camouflage is the Brainfever bird, a member of the Cuckoo family. There is a difference however. Instead of blending into the background, the bird looks exactly like the predatory Shikra in its features and colors. (whom we met in the Part 1)Only the beak gives it away!

The Brainfever bird is so named since its call sounds like its announcing, "Brain fever, brain fever".  (on electricity wire at foothills)
The Brainfever bird is so named since its call sounds like its announcing, "Brain fever, brain fever". (on electricity wire at foothills) | Source

Another bird along the same shores as the Greater Painted Snipe is very conspicuous to both - the eyes and the ears. The Red Wattled Lapwing takes upon itself the role of a sentry. The minute it sees an approaching human, it flies excitedly in the skies with hurried calls of “Did-Did-Did-you-do-it” and it is also popularly known as the “Did You Do It Bird”.

Though a conspicuous bird, please ensure that you are not conspicuous to the Red Wattled Lapwing. It will warn away all birds and within moments you will be standing on bird-free lands! (Near rice fields)
Though a conspicuous bird, please ensure that you are not conspicuous to the Red Wattled Lapwing. It will warn away all birds and within moments you will be standing on bird-free lands! (Near rice fields) | Source

Back to the little ones that we missed out. There are many varieties of Prinias in Puttaparthi and they are bold birds, easy to photograph. They will easily win the 'most approachable' award! The loser of that award will be the Red Whiskered Bulbul. This bird has been known for its gait and beauty in Indian mythology and in the songs of many Bollywood movies too. The Indian Bush Lark is a singer who seems to be content doing just that for the whole day. The most distinct feature of this bird is the way it takes off vertically and then drops to a new perch, parachuting on its stretched and canopied wings.

The Franklins Prinia is waking up to the golden rays of the sun. (Bushes in rice fields along the river Chitravati)
The Franklins Prinia is waking up to the golden rays of the sun. (Bushes in rice fields along the river Chitravati) | Source
The Red Whiskered Bulbul was a rare find and delighted the heart of the photographer.
The Red Whiskered Bulbul was a rare find and delighted the heart of the photographer. | Source
The Indian Bush Lark's songs come in at least a dozen variants. (bushes along the river Chitravati)
The Indian Bush Lark's songs come in at least a dozen variants. (bushes along the river Chitravati) | Source

In seeing all these birds, we have entirely forgotten one category - those that rule the night times! The Indian Flying Fox has been so named after its uncanny resemblance to a fox. Though it has been wrongly glorified in Dracula movies, this bat is a complete frugivore. This fruit-eating bat actively feeds on figs and berries in the night. They use their front claws for moving amongst the branches to reach the fruits. By the way, the bat is not a bird - it is a flying mammal that gives birth to its young alive, without laying eggs.

Munching merrily on berries is the impressive Indian Flying Fox. (tree inside the premises of the Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music)
Munching merrily on berries is the impressive Indian Flying Fox. (tree inside the premises of the Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music) | Source

Some of the noisiest among the Puttaparthi birds is the Rose-ringed Parakeet. The pink coloured collar develops at maturity. This is obviously a juvenile. And as they feed, they look like children eating lollipops!

The Rose-ringed Parakeet feeds in an uncanny human fashion - using its feet as hands to hold the fruit. (Mango fields near Puttaparthi)
The Rose-ringed Parakeet feeds in an uncanny human fashion - using its feet as hands to hold the fruit. (Mango fields near Puttaparthi) | Source

Talking about noise making, we just cannot omit the Large Grey Babbler. In fact, I feel it would be better named as the Grey Large 'Babbler'! These birds always, always, always, travel in groups of 5-6 and they create a flutter wherever they go. Their noisy "Jee Jee Jee Jee" can almost make the deaf hear too!

A magnificent Large Grey Babbler strutting on a high branch. (Fields along the Chitravati)
A magnificent Large Grey Babbler strutting on a high branch. (Fields along the Chitravati) | Source

That brings us to the last entry for this hub - the Spotted Dove - easy to spot and easy to photograph. Such a variety exists even among doves. And unless you study them, you cannot make out the difference. The Spotted Dove can be distinguished from the chess-pattern patch on the neck.

The Spotted Dove looks like another ready candidate for the post of the ambassador for peace and love! (wire along the main road)
The Spotted Dove looks like another ready candidate for the post of the ambassador for peace and love! (wire along the main road) | Source

Did you like this photo-gallery?

If you liked it, then you will surely love the other gallery on the same topic. In fact, the beautiful birds of Puttaparthi -1 won an award too in HubPages! :)

Hope you have a look at it too...

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